Six in 10 teachers in schools rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted believe their rating is wrong, survey finds

Commissioned by the Beyond Ofsted inquiry, the poll also found that 74 per cent described their experiences with the education watchdog as ‘negative’. The figure rose to 94 per cent in schools which received a poor rating.

Overall, 62 per cent of teachers did not believe the outcome of the most recent inspection accurately reflected their school. Even among the schools rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, the figure was 58 per cent.

The survey – of 6,708 teachers in England between March and May – found that 89 per cent disagreed with the statement that Ofsted inspections are ‘a valid method of monitoring performance and holding schools to account’.

The Beyond Ofsted inquiry was launched in April amid calls for the inspectorate to revamp its school ratings system, which uses one-word judgments, following the death of headteacher Ruth Perry.

Her family says she took her life in January after an Ofsted report downgraded Caversham Primary School in Reading from its highest rating to its lowest over safeguarding concerns.

Her death is the subject of an inquest due to start at the end of this month. The study, which was carried out by UCL Institute of Education researchers and funded by the National Education Union, found that 92 per cent of teachers surveyed agreed that Ofsted is not a “reliable and trusted arbiter of standards”.

Beyond Ofsted, which was set up to develop principles for underpinning a better inspection system as well as proposals for an alternative approach, will publish its recommendations later this month.

Jim Knight, the Labour peer and former schools minister who is chairman of the inquiry, said: “The strength of feeling about the failings of the current system is clearly universal across the teaching profession. Our aim is to identify what is needed to make it fairer and more effective.”


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